My religious views have changed, evolved if you will (wink wink), over the years. I was raised a Christian in Methodist/Baptist churches in east Texas. I never really questioned anything I was “thought” in church and bible school over the years.
My family was religious but not overly so. If we missed church, it was not big deal; my dad didn’t attend church much; we were not involved in church extra activities, but we never really questioned anything we were thought. In that area (southern United States, Texas, and east Texas to be specific) it is generally assumed/taught that the United States is a Christian nation based on Christianity; although it is most certainly not in either1 case but more on that latter.
After I graduated from A&M and began my career, I started to settle down quite a bit and had more time to think. My religious views started to change. I came to the conclusion that there are just three possibilities when it comes to religion, and they are:
- one religion is correct, or more correct, then all other religions (this is what most religious people believe)
- all religions are incomplete or incorrect to some degree, either people through the centuries have misinterpreted supernatural events of God or some form of supreme being or there is something else out their that humans have a hard time understanding
- all religions are false, there is no supreme being/afterlife, and religion is a human construct
My biggest reason for reevaluating my beliefs are that over the years I have seen that the religious organizations (churches, political parties, etc…) are more about forcing their views on other people, ignoring parts of a their holy book, being overly literal on other sections, and actively suppressing and/or discouraging scientific knowledge that comes into conflict with there particular beliefs.
After doing some research on the Christian Bible and other religions I have come to a few conclusions:
- The Bible was written by humans, none of it was written by God or Jesus, the vast majority were not written by profits or apostles
- The Bible is a collection of books that were put together by various religious leaders over the course thousands of years (council of Nicaea among several others), and there are many Bibles with different books
- The Bible states some very disturbing things that many people choose to ignore (don’t cut you hair, no tattoos, don’t mix fabrics of different types, non virgin woman are to be stoned to death on their wedding night, etc..)
I find it very disturbing that many people choose to ignore many biblical laws they don’t agree with and choose to enforce others they personally agree with; case in point homosexuality.
- I believe everyone has the right to choose for them selves what they believe
- don’t force your beliefs on anyone else
- don’t confuse faith and science, they are two different things, faith is belief in something without proof, science is a method of understand the laws of the universe
- faith belongs in church, not in schools or the United States government (local or federal)
- science belongs in schools
- understand that other people will not necessarily believe what you believe and that’s OK
- religion is not prerequisite for high ethical standards or morality
- being a “good Christian” does not make you a good person
With these observations and my strong belief in science, it has lead me to the religious outlook of Deism. It is a simple belief in a universal God but not a belief in supernatural events. I believe God made the universe via a system and he/she does not interfere with that system. We use science to study and understand that system. Since I like bullet points here is a list my of beliefs:
- i believe (scientific proof) in the Big Bang, or at least until we come up with a better explanation of our universe formation through science
- i believe (scientific proof) in a non-supernatural abiogenesis, not the 6 days genesis in the Bible
- i believe (scientific proof) in evolution as the explanation of the bio diversity of Earth, including human evolution
- i believe (belief only) in God of the universe (or at least something very similar to the Abrahamic God)
I encourage you to research your religion, and others, beyond what your local church teaches you. The internet, modern theologians, and Banned from the Bible series from the History Channel are good resources.
Came across some interesting videos: